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First time to Disneyland

Calgary
4 posts
2 reviews
First time to Disneyland

I have been reading some of the posts and doing some other research and still have some questions. We are travelling to Disneyland for our kids 10th and 8th Birthdays. We have booked at the Carousel Inn and Suites (comments?) and purchased 6 Day Park Hopper Disney Passes. We will be there from March 9th to the 16th, 2010. We did not want to rent a vehicle. We do want to go to Knott's Berry Farm and are not sure about Legoland. We also would like to be able to do some non-souvenir shopping, either in outlet type malls, large surf stores, golf stores, and perhaps a Tiffany's if possible. I am very much an "A" personality and need a plan. Are the charachter dining experiences worth it considering the kids ages, are the charachters available elsewhere in the park as they are in Disneyworld? What is the best way to get to Knott's from our hotel? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
613 posts
110 reviews
1. Re: First time to Disneyland

Wow. You packed a lot of questions into one paragraph! :)

I will address the character dining. Sometimes, when the park is really crowded, you have to wait in long lines for photos with characters. Also, you may time it where you don't see many characters out and about.

Is it worth it to spend on character dining? Well that question is subjective. But here's my advice. If your kids are into characters and getting photos with a variety of characters. Yes, it's worth it.

If your kids just want to ride the rides, experience the park, and have fun and are not on a search and find mission for characters. Then, I would skip it.

However, considering this is your first time to Disneyland.... I would lean towards spending the money and having the whole Disney experience. It's a great way to interact with characters without the pressure of people waiting in line behind you. The characters roam from table to table and pose with everyone. They are more willing to strike several poses per table. Whereas when there is a line you feel rushed to take your 1 or 2 quick shots and leave.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,755 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: First time to Disneyland

The best way to get to Knott's is to take the LA Metro Bus #460, which stops at the shuttle area near Disneyland Resort's Main Gate on Harbor Blvd. and goes to the corner of La Palma and Beach Blvd. right across from Knott's Resort. The bus runs about every half an hour, with a lengthly schedule daily and will get you there in less than a half an hour. Fare for adult is $1.25 each way.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
14,434 posts
120 reviews
3. Re: First time to Disneyland

My kids were still into the character brunches (etc) until they were about 12-13. They are still avid Disney fans. I always found it very entertaining and sort of miss it (waiting for grandkids).

There's a Tiffany's in Costa Mesa, which brings us to shopping. South Coast Plaza and the Costa Mesa area has amazing shopping. Of course, Downtown Disney and Garden Walk have shopping, but not *real* shopping, IMO.

For Tiffany's and that style of shopping, you'll need to take public transportation to the coast side of Orange County - which should be really fun, all by itself. Someone who knows how to do that will certainly come by this thread soon enough.

Your kids are really lucky (with that 6 day parkhopper pass). What happens with Disneyland and California Adventure is that you think you've seen it all, take a break, and then start remembering all the things you walked by or didn't do. The interactive attractions in California Adventure, for example, are often overlooked in the excitement of a first trip. I think I'm meaning to mention Disney Animation and Disney's Imagineering inside California Adventure (I think those are their names).

It's Tough to be a Bug sounds silly and for younger children, but it's great (California Adventure).

My daughter has stayed at the Carousel Inn & Suites several times and really likes it, but I have no personal experience of it.

portland, oregon
Level Contributor
17 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: First time to Disneyland

My boys are 10 and 9 and they love Legoland more than Disneyland. Of course they are Lego fanatics. But, I think Legoland is definitely worth a visit. From the parents perspective (mine and my parents who went with us), Legoland is smaller, less crowded (the times we've been there), and overall feels more relaxing. I absolutely love Disneyland, and always find our trips to Legoland to be a nice break from the intensity of Disneyland -so it's a nice balance. The park is very clean and fun. There is a huge play structure where the kids can climb and play and run off their energy for as long as you want to let them. The last time we went my boys were able to sign up for a Lego robotics class which was a highlight. There is also the SeaLife aquarium now, but we weren't able to visit it on our last trip.

I also did not want to rent a car and deal with driving, so we took Amtrak from Anaheim to Oceanside and then a cab to Carlsbad. It is about an hour train trip and a lot of it is along the ocean. It was a lovely ride and a stress-free way to travel. An event in itself.

5. Re: First time to Disneyland

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